top of page


Swainsboro City Council and Mayor Greg Bennett convened for their April meeting on Monday night, and the group was able to make headway on some city business despite tabling a few items.

First and foremost, the collective sent the theatre project out for bid.

This is significant news in that Swainsboro’s elected officials, both the previous administration and the current administration alike, have been working on this project for years.

Citizens may remember the current administration halting the theatre renovation earlier this year until a budget could be created and bids could be obtained.

Mayor Bennett, during Monday’s meeting, led this discussion.

He stated the city’s architect had finished his theatre involvement, therefore the project could move on to the bid phase.

Ultimately, councilperson Johnny Ray Stafford made a motion to put it out to bid as discussed. He stated this project had been discussed for four months in the short-term alone and urged the council to take action, now the time was right.

Councilperson Julian Sconyers provided the second, and the vote was 4–2 with council members John E. Parker and Bobbie Collins opposing.

Mayor Bennett stated during this conversation the County of Emanuel is prepared to help with renovation costs for the theatre project—but only when the City of Swainsboro can provide a definitive price first.

This discussion about the theatre project led council to consider a like project waiting in the wings, the Gumlog Gym renovation.

Parker questioned whether or not due diligence had been completed for the gym project, and Mayor Bennett expressed that it had not; specifically, questions remain about the gym’s safety codes.

No action was taken in regard to the gym project. However, mayor and council did entertain a discussion about funding sources for both of these undertakings. The group discussed briefly SPLOST and ARPA funds; when discussing the latter, the group noted an impending Monday deadline.

Fortunately, the American Rescue Plan Act does not require the allocated money to be spent by Monday. Instead, cities on the receiving end of these federal funds, like Swainsboro, only have to nail down the projects these dollars will pay for and attach amounts to those projects.

Council also gave the floor to public speaker Jo Bynes, the man in charge of heading up a veteran-based recycling operation using a city building. He was not present for the meeting, however, thus Mayor Bennett moved on with the evening’s agenda.

Mayor and council approved two game room applications. The purpose of these applications at this point is for advertisement only and will appear in the local newspapers over the next two weeks. One went to Mehoshi May doing business as Clay D’s Place at the old Bird’s Sports Lounge location while the other went to Dana Williams doing business as Dana’s Monogramming & More, located inside a former pawn shop on North Coleman Street. Although handled as separate pieces of action, the eventual votes were unanimous.

Mayor Bennett then suggested three names to serve on the city’s Ethics Committee: attorney Bill McWhorter, Carol Canady, and Ed Daniels.

At this point in the meeting, Collins spoke up and cited the city’s charter, pointing out that the Ethics Committee is to be made up of mayor and council. She then asked those sitting around the table if they had been asked to serve on this committee, and no one indicated they had. Thus, the matter of naming individuals to the Ethics Committee was tabled and will be re-addressed next month.